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Tim Cook: Apple-EU Ruling 'Total Political Crap'

Image: Tim Cook: Apple-EU Ruling 'Total Political Crap'

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at an Apple event at the Worldwide Developer's Conference on June 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 02 Sep 2016 12:06 PM

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, spoke out against an EU ruling that the company pay billions in back taxes to Ireland, calling the decision "total political crap."

Cook made the statement in a recent interview with the Irish Independent, saying the company will go forward with plans to expand in the country, despite the $14.5 billion tax bill, which he hopes the government will appeal.

The European Commission ruled Tuesday that Ireland illegally provided state aid to the company by failing to collect taxes over a over a 10-year period.

"I think we'll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation," Cook told the Irish Independent. "No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable."

He disputed European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager's assertion that the company only paid 0.005 percent tax in Ireland in 2014 and called his company the "highest taxpayer in Ireland that year."

Opinions in Ireland are divided on the ruling, with some noting that the tax amount would fund the country's health system for a year, and others saying lower taxes attract multinational companies and create jobs, Reuters reported.

U.S. officials have sided with Apple and claim the European Union is angling for tax revenue that should go to the U.S. government, Reuters said.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin backed Vestager's stance in the transatlantic dispute, saying at a news conference that "The European Commission is doing its job. It's normal to make Apple pay normal taxes."

Germany and Austria also favor the ruling, while Britain remains neutral, according to Reuters.

Cook told Irish broadcaster RTE that he is confident the ruling will be overturned.

"I think the finding is a wrongheaded finding. It's not true. There wasn't a special deal between Ireland and Apple. It didn't exist," Cook told the broadcaster, adding that the company has been in Ireland since 1980.

He went on to call the ruling "maddening" and said, "When you're accused of doing something that is so foreign to your values, it brings out an outrage in you. That's how we feel. Apple has always been about doing the right thing, never the easy thing."

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Tim Cook, Apple CEO, spoke out against an EU ruling that the company pay billions in back taxes to Ireland, calling the decision "total political crap."
tim cook, apple, eu, rating
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2016-06-02
Friday, 02 Sep 2016 12:06 PM
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